• WEM interviewed on News Medical for the Pittcon Coulter Lecture
  • Dr. Allison Squires receives Richard Malkin Award for the Best Postdoc Oral Presentation at the 25th Western Photosynthesis Conference 2016!




  • WEM receives the John Gamble Kirkwood Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Science, from Yale University and the New Haven Section of the American Chemical Society, September 2013
  • Adam Backer receives the 2013 Imaging Systems and Application Best Student Presentation Award at the Imaging and Applied Optics Congress from the Optical Society of America!
  • WEM participates in an AAAS Webinar on fluorophores and super-resolution imaging.
  • Samuel Bockenhauer becomes Dr. Sam Bockenhauer!
  • Lana Lau becomes Dr. Lana Lau!
  • Dr. Gabriela Schlau-Cohen receives ACS PHYS Division Postdoc Award!
  • Our open-source matlab code for analyzing 3D positions of single molecules with the double-helix point spread function microscope (easy-DHPSF) is now live on google code!
  • W. E. Moerner received an Engineering Alumni Achievement Award from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Washington University in April 2013. Video Feature. Acceptance Speech.
  • Our recent DH-PSF dipole orientation/correction of mislocalization study was described in the January 2013 "Research Highlights: Methods in Brief" section of Nature Methods!


  • Our recent STED imaging of a centriolar protein article remained at the top of the "Articles Accessed Most Frequently" list in Biophysical Journal for over a month!
  • Our recent single-molecule super-resolution imaging in bacteria by turnover activated localizaiton microscopy (TALM) was highlighted on the Chemical Science blog in October! twice!
  • Our visualization of single voltage-gated sodium channels in cells beyond the diffraction limit was highlighted in Chemistry and Biology Previews Vol 19, pp 790-791 (2012)!
  • Dr. Gabriela Schlau-Cohen receives a Stanford Chemistry Center for Molecular Analysis and Design Postdoctoral Fellowship!
  • W. E. Moerner chosen as winner of the Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry for 2013 by the American Chemical Society
  • Yan Jiang becomes Dr. Yan Jiang!
  • Whitney Duim becomes Dr. Whitney Duim!
  • Yao Yue becomes a Master of Science!
  • Matt Lew wins Second Place Poster Award at the Gordon Research Conference on Single-Molecule Approaches to Biology!
  • Lucien Weiss receives a BioX Graduate Student Fellowship!
  • WEM is interviewed by SPIE in January regarding super-resolution imaging and DH-PSF, and in April has a "QnA" published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: QnAs with W. E. Moerner
  • Sam Bockenhauer wins both a Phi Beta Kappa Graduate Scholarship and a SPIE Scholarship in Optics and Photonics!
  • W. E. Moerner receives the Pittsburg Spectroscopy Award for 2012!
  • Hsiao-lu Lee wins the Picoquant Young Investigator Award at the SPIE/BiOS Conference!


  • The Moerner Lab reaches 300 publications.
  • Hsiao-lu Denise Lee becomes Dr. Lee!
  • Freshly defended Dr. Mike Thompson attends the prestigious Lindau Symposium with Nobel Laureates!
  • Lana Lau receives a Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Fellowship from Stanford!
  • Mike Thompson wins Third Prize Poster at the Certer for Probing the Nanoscale (CPN) Workshop!
  • Dr. Randy Goldsmith becomes a new Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin!
  • Lana Lau wins Second Place Poster at the Center for Biological Imaging at Stanford Symposium!
  • Moerner Lab alum Asst. Prof. Julie Biteen wins the Picoquant Young Investigator Award at the SPIE/BiOS Conference!


  • Randy Goldsmith receives a Postdoctoral Research Award of the Physical Chemistry Division of the ACS!
  • Alum Samuel J. Lord receives a Sigal Postdoctoral Fellowship from the ACS!
  • Hsiao-lu Lee receives a Centennial Teaching Assistant Award from the Chemistry Department!
  • Matt Lew receives the Picoquant Young Investigator Award at BioS 2010! (along with Steffen Sahl, future Moerner Lab member)



  • Samuel Lord wins the Sessler Student Leader Award !
  • Julie Biteen wins a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface!
  • Alex Fuerstenberg selected as co-winner of the PhD Thesis Prize in Photochemistry from the European Photochemistry Association
  • W. E. Moerner, along with Allen J. Bard, receives the Wolf Prize in Chemistry!
  • From the Wolf Prize Press Release:

    For the ingenious creation of a new field of science, single molecule spectroscopy and electrochemistry, with impact at the nanoscopic regime, from the molecular and cellular domain to complex material systems. William E. Moerner was the first to perform optical detection and spectroscopy of a single, individual molecule in condensed matter. Allen J. Bard pioneered the development of the scanning electrochemical microscope, allowing high resolution chemical imaging of surfaces and the study of chemical reactions at the nanoscopic regime, applied to biological and catalysis systems. Prior to these discoveries, all chemical experiments essentially measured ensemble averages, over millions to billions of putatively identical copies of the sample molecule, occasionally blurring important information, pertaining to hidden heterogeneity in configuration and intermediate states, in time-domain dynamics. By pushing optical detection to the ultimate limit of one molecule, these scientists changed our understanding of the chemistry and physics of individual molecules. Thus, the strength, persistence, and daring exhibited by Moerner and Bard, in attacking seemingly insoluble problems, led to new experimental and conceptual approaches, currently widely adopted by the scientific community at large.

    Professor William E. Moerner´s ingenious contributions to science have centered around two recurrent themes, which on one hand, address the development of a novel and revolutionary spectroscopic tool, single molecule spectroscopy; and on the other, its applications to problems in physics and analytical chemistry, biochemistry and biophysics. Since their pioneering steps in 1987, Moerner and his team have demonstrated a variety of effects sparking new subfields, including spectral diffusion of individual emitters, lifetime-limited line widths, temperature-induced dephasing, nonlinear saturation of a single molecule, photo-induced Poisson kinetics, blinking and switching of a single emitter, photon anti-bunching and optically-detected magnetic resonance of a single molecular spin. Thus, Moerner’s work trail-blazed a path for the measurement of individual molecules, having broad implications in the investigation of proteins, enzymes, DNA and RNA, and defects in solids or complex materials. Furthermore, this path enables the achievement of super-resolution imaging at the molecular level and endows scientists with the possibility to control the nanoscopic regime and to build molecular-scale devices.

    Comments from Prof. Moerner provided to C&EN:

    "I am elated to receive this recognition, and I am particularly humbled to share the Wolf Prize with Prof. Bard, a giant in the field of electrochemistry.

    In the early days, there was a sense of excitement because spectroscopic measurements in my lab at IBM in 1987 made it clear to me that seeing a single molecule optically would be possible. Nevertheless, our early single-molecule experiments in 1989 were difficult, and the measurements were repeated many times over many months by two techniques to be sure that the spectrum of a single molecule was being observed. Even though the experiments became much easier when Michel Orrit showed that fluorescence excitation would give higher signal-to-noise, it was not clear that single-molecule imaging and spectroscopy would become widespread beyond the low-temperature regime. In the mid-90's, when Eric Betzig showed that room temperature studies over extended times were possible, the range of systems and physical processes that could be explored greatly increased. It is very gratifying that today so many new scientists continue to enter the field to apply single-molecule optical studies to biological systems and even to living cells. I continue to be amazed at what can be learned about DNA, RNA, proteins, enzymes, and complex materials simply by using local probes and observing their individual behaviors. Each molecule tells us a story, and our challenge is to interpret what they are saying to obtain a deeper understanding. Even now, new ideas are appearing that take direct advantage of the single emitting molecule as a nanoscale source of light to image far beyond the optical diffraction limit.

    It is important to note that the original work in 1987-1991 would not have been possible without the efforts of my early postdocs, Tom Carter, Lothar Kador, Pat Ambrose, Thomas Basche, and others, and I thankfully acknowledge their efforts in my lab. Indeed, I have been fortunate over the years to have a wonderful team of graduate students, postdocs, and collaborators working with me, from IBM, to ETH, to UCSD, and now at Stanford."

  • Press articles: Stanford Report, Chemical and Engineering News, Chemistry World
  • W. E. Moerner elected to National Academy of Sciences
  • Nick Conley receives a Lieberman Fellowship
  • Adam E. Cohen joins Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Physics faculties at Harvard
  • Anika Kinkhabwala receives a Fellowship from the NSF Center for Probing the Nanoscale at Stanford University
2006 2005 - Press Coverage of the ABEL Trap